Measuring relative-story displacement and local inclination angle using multiple position-sensitive detectors

Iwao Matsuya*, Ryuta Katamura, Maya Sato, Miroku Iba, Hideaki Kondo, Kiyoshi Kanekawa, Motoichi Takahashi, Tomohiko Hatada, Yoshihiro Nitta, Takashi Tanii, Shuichi Shoji, Akira Nishitani, Iwao Ohdomari

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


We propose a novel sensor system for monitoring the structural health of a building. The system optically measures the relative-story displacement during earthquakes for detecting any deformations of building elements. The sensor unit is composed of three position sensitive detectors (PSDs) and lenses capable of measuring the relative-story displacement precisely, even if the PSD unit was inclined in response to the seismic vibration. For verification, laboratory tests were carried out using an XΘ-stage and a shaking table. The static experiment verified that the sensor could measure the local inclination angle as well as the lateral displacement. The dynamic experiment revealed that the accuracy of the sensor was 150 μm in the relative-displacement measurement and 100 μrad in the inclination angle measurement. These results indicate that the proposed sensor system has sufficient accuracy for the measurement of relative-story displacement in response to the seismic vibration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9687-9697
Number of pages11
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Nov


  • Local inclination angle
  • PSD
  • Position-sensitive detector
  • Relative-story displacement
  • Structural health monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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